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The Turnaround: A Rancher’s Story

If Dave’s name is familiar, it’s likely because of his decades of work with graziers. He’s worked with ranchers for more than three decades helping them transform their ranches into successful, sustainable businesses. He’s helped thousands of ranchers improve their land, lives and their profitability. In the 1990’s he began teaching the Ranching for Profit School and when Ranch Management Consultants founder Stan Parsons retired in 2001, Dave and his wife Kathy, bought the business. In 2019 after many successful years they sold the company to Dallas Mount.

Dave Pratt has a new book out and it’s one all graziers should read.

Packed with principles and processes drawn from the widely acclaimed Ranching For Profit School, The Turnaround: A Rancher’s Story, tells a story familiar to us all about facing the frustrations and overcoming the challenges that all family ranches must overcome if they are going to stay family ranches. It focuses on Wayne and Lori who discover that knowing how to grow crops and raise livestock is not the same thing as knowing how to run a business that does those things. Land rich and cash poor, supported by off-farm income, they are working harder and falling further behind. Wayne is frustrated. Lori is tired. Burning the candle at both ends, they treat life as though it is something that is going to happen later. But after ten years, they’re beginning to ask, “How long do we have to wait?” They wonder if it’s possible to have a ranch and a life. Introduced to Ranching For Profit School principles by their neighbors, Wayne and Lori begin their journey toward a happier, more prosperous future.

I like this book because it speaks to those of us who aren’t great with numbers, and don’t have a background in economics or finance. In these pages you’ll be a fly on the wall for the kinds of conversations Dave has been part of as couples take a good look at where they’re at, where they’d like to be, and what they need to do to get there. As you follow Wayne and Lori on a journey of building a better future, you’ll see your own challenges, and get some good ideas for overcoming them. The Turnaround also includes tasks to help you apply the economic and financial principles introduced in the story. Guidelines in the appendices will help you evaluate the health of your land. Like Wayne and Lori, you’ll be able to use these tools to begin your own journey toward a brighter future.

As I write in this week’s Scoop, the real reason On Pasture exists is because I want you to make money. That’s why I think this book is so important for On Pasture readers. While I can provide you with all kinds of practices that can help, none of that leads to a profitable business unless you do the things you’ll learn about in the The Turnaround.

I’m very honored that Dave is sharing an excerpt from the book with us. This is Chapter 3. You’ll meet Wayne and Lori and their friends Chris and Kate. Over lunch, they talk about something many graziers dream about: how to quit off-farm jobs to work at the farm or ranch full time. They talk about what it might take to get there, and then what it might take to have a vacation, and even set themselves up for retirement. Though they don’t solve all these challenges in this chapter, it’s a great introduction concepts that can take you there: the difference between salaries and profit and the importance of setting profit targets so you’ll know what you’re aiming for.

Download the excerpt here.

Get Your Copy Here

The book is available through Ranch Management Consultants, where you’ll also find The Three Secrets for Increasing Profit DVD, and another of Dave’s books, Healthy Land, Happy Families and Profitable Businesses. You can also find both Turnaround and Healthy Land, Happy Families and Profitable Businesses at Amazon.

Want More?

Dave has written a variety of articles for On Pasture. Click here to see them all. I also reviewed The Three Secrets of Increasing Profit. You can read about that here:

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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